I love how my birth announcement directly contradicts scripture:
I also enjoy how mystified my dad appears in this picture with me from those early days of my life. I have many times felt the way he appears to feel in this picture… I guess I feel this way more and more now. When this picture was taken my dad was almost exactly the age I am now. Strange perspective.
This year has probably been the most strange, hard, and upheaval-filled since I got married a decade ago. I’m not sure what to say. I have seen and done amazing things in just the last 6 months. But I’ve also been shown my limits and frailties in so many ways. Here’s hoping for a year of becoming a better husband, dad, teacher, artist, and friend. God knows I could use some remediation on all of these things.
I have been savoring a couple things from my experience on the Great Wall.
I’ll keep it short and sweet.
First: the reality of the timeliness of the past is so huge. Here, as we walked, we continued the erosion on these steps that many millions of feet have touched. All of those lives, those hopes and dreams and desires and mistakes and glories… we got to step into a past that no longer is yet “didn’t go anywhere” (to quote Utah Phillips).
Second: the awareness of the present is a calibrator of deep meaning. In spite of my awe at the Wall, at being in China, of adopting, and of doing many other incredible things, I think my most cherished thing from being on the Great Wall was carrying Miranda up it and back down it. We talked about it today. We will continue to. It’s something much bigger to me now than I could have realized. But I was on top of it as it happened, realizing the importance with each step. I expect it will be one of the greatest memories of my life, and I love that it came so close to CaiQun joining our family.
Doesn’t get much more epic than this.
My father is 70 today. Here’s a painting I made of him in 2006:
Oil on panel, 20 by 16 inches. Painted from observation over a few days.
And here’s a shot of me at work on the piece:
My daughter draws. See for yourself:
Working hard on the Magna-doodle.
A tableau with a foot and the finished work…
The facility of a Twombly!
Her mother interprets the ineffable script.
The work table is itself a work of art…
A swift, sure hand speeds over an uncertain surface: glory!
The best part about this drawing session with my daughter was the way she put her left hand over mine when she’d go to make a mark with her right…
Daughter and Dad in their cool shoes! (click the image for super-sized color and sparkle!)